The Catholic Rent was a subscription that was to be paid monthly to the Catholic Association in Ireland. It amounted to one penny each month. This was a tactic that was used by Daniel O’Connell to raise money for his campaign to gain Catholic Emancipation i.e., the right for Catholics to sit in Parliament.
The Catholic Association founded by Daniel O’Connell in May 1823 aimed to bring about “emancipation”—the admission of Catholics to seats in parliament and to the highest government offices. The new central body in Dublin had a rocky start; there was difficulty in securing a quorum at some of its early meetings. But early in 1824 the association instituted an “associate membership” that required the payment of only a penny a month (the “Catholic rent”), and as this document indicates, a plan was devised for the systematic collection of this small monthly subscription throughout Ireland. This plan became the vehicle through which a mass movement embracing the Catholic peasantry was soon created.